By: Mariana Cevallos
Mariana courageously reached out, ready to share her own personal struggle and relationship with her body. Mariana open's up about how the adversities she has faced while learning how to love her body and finding comfort in her own skin has inspired her art work and vision as an artist to empower other women worldwide and address gender-based issues that can be felt in all corners of the world.
This is Mariana's story...
I barely can talk about my relation with my body. If I could defined it in just one word it would be hate. Since I was a teen all I saw in the mirror was crap and I grew up feeling like I don't deserve love. When I became a photographer I decide to help other women to stop hating their bodies as much as I hated mine and to help them see how truly beautiful they are. "Nuestra Piel" is a project that heals other women and helps me heal myself. Through photography we talk about our feelings, our fears and our bodies as perfect and loved things with what we are reconciled. Every women that take part of the project talk to me about her story, her experiences and how she start loving herself and healing her mind and soul. We have cried, laugh, embrace each other and most of all felt safe to show us with no masks or fears. My relation with my body is not good at all, somedays I really hate it, I really want to disappear and my life seems to have no sense but I have some light knowing that with this project I have help some women to understand their bodies deserve love and what society says about beauty really does not mater. For me this work has a lot of my soul, it is very intimate and at the same time it is the story of everyone, of every woman who has felt that she is horrible and who has struggled to love herself. These photographs show the real beauty of each woman, not for their bodies or sizes but for their souls, their essence. With each story I have healed a little in my life, I have cried, and I have felt embraced. With each one of them I have fallen in love and with each one I have created a bond. Although it is a documentary and artistic project, I consider it a part of my history. I can see myself reflected in each woman and my intention is that all women who see it can feel identified and happy to see their own beauty in other skin.
Mariana is a photographer and designer with developed skills in the multiple areas of the imagery, especially in documentary, author, and artistic photography. She studied photographic design at the Metropolitan Institute of Design in the city of Quito. It seeks to create personal projects that use photography as the language of the most private and ambiguous emotions. Mariana's main interests are in documentary and artistic subjects, in addition to areas related to women's rights, the problem of sexism, and beauty stereotypes. Currently, she is developing long-term projects that involve the woman's body, social standards, and the identity of Afro-Ecuadorian women.